Tag: Mitigation

Ministerial Manners

Most developed countries came to Doha eager to move on to a new track of negotiations, even while several critical issues from recent years of the talks are left unresolved. It is vital these issues are addressed before the talks move on. 

Like all good mothers, ECO wants to tell developed country ministers they can’t have their dessert before they have finished their mains, including all their vegetables. They need to eat up fast, because we won’t solve the climate crisis until everyone in these talks has finished their meal.
Developed countries have responsibilities under both the Kyoto Protocol and the LCA track that must be fulfilled in Doha. Chief among these are a second commitment period of the KP – and one that is worth the paper it is written on – raising their mitigation ambition, and showing how they are going to deliver their $100 billion per year climate finance commitment. Unless these things are delivered, the new Durban Platform (ADP) track will lack the solid foundation it needs to ensure a step change in climate action in the years ahead.
But with the resolution of these issues and this foundation laid, the ADP can and must kick start a new era of climate negotiations in a spirit of trust, solidarity and collective action. This must include actions taken with the upmost urgency under the ADP work track on raising pre-2020 mitigation ambition. No Party in these talks can afford to allow any delay in this endeavor. 
ECO expects that developed countries have come to Doha with every intention of showing their best table manners. There will be nowhere to hide for countries that attempt to avoid their past commitments by shifting focus only to future plans. Success in Doha requires both of these things: that’s what makes for a balanced meal of ambitious and co-operative global climate action. 
Related Newsletter : 

Which Way, Japan?

ECO is concerned to hear that Japan may not keep up its 25% reduction target by 2020 compared to 1990, and instead is considering reducing it to around 5 to 9% (domestic reduction target). 

Of course, Japan has already undermined the momentum of the negotiations by rejecting the Kyoto CP2. If Japan now lowers its voluntary pledge under the Cancun agreement, that reduces ambition and credibility.
ECO worries that perhaps Japan’s voice might be not taken seriously anymore. 
To some extent, the country has already lost its credibility in the last two years. Now is the time for the Japanese Minister to step up and announce that Japan aims to do everything possible to keep the 25% target intact. It should also pledge appropriate funding for the period 2013 to 2015. This is the only way to regain its positive and constructive role for the global effort to tackle climate change.
Related Newsletter : 

Something has to happen!


COP 18 is another step in the climate change negotiations. There are a lot of expectations here and many issues need to be covered. Most importantly, a comprehensive decision has to be made in order to deliver what humanity needs in order to survive. This is something we hear all the time around climate change negotiations. The issue is that, if we need to repeat it, then there has not been any change.

For some countries, there is an economic interest conflict - a fear of losing money. For others, it is just a matter of survival- a loss of lives. We all will face the consequences, climate change doesn’t recognize differences. It will happen and we must take action.

Negotiators are convinced that they will find a solution. But, will this happen? Will they realize they are negotiating a way forward for everyone and not bargaining to get something? Will they stop putting the blame on each other?

Finance issues are crucial for this regime to move forward but recent statements from some parties are not very encouraging. This only diminishes the acknowledgement of any progress that could have happened.

Realistic mitigation efforts by developed countries have been due for a long time now. Some developing countries are being more proactive than developed countries. While this can be a good sign towards a future low carbon world, developed countries should do more in order to achieve what humanity needs.

Adaptation is crucial for all, but especially for those in developing countries, where there is lack of capacity to adapt to climate changes.

Being in a Doha Conference center, where everything is so scattered, where there seems to be empty rooms everywhere, it feels as though not much is happening. We hope that, in the next few days, delegates can work out ways to facilitate the process of ministers reaching agreements.


Instructions Enclosed for Non-Negotiable Planetary Deadline

Dear Ministers:

This is the non-negotiable planetary deadline. The recent UNEP and World Bank reports have been unequivocal: the window to stabilize temperature increase below 2° C, and thus avoid the most dangerous climate impacts, is closing rapidly. Durban set a number of other deadlines for Doha which must be respected. They include adoption of the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, the successful closure of the LCA, and agreement on work programmes for both the 2015 Protocol negotiations and raising near-term ambition. So roll up your sleeves, Ministers: there is much to do!  As always, ECO has some helpful hints to make your week easier.

#1 Don’t cheat – it doesn’t help the climate or build confidence 

The amendments to the Kyoto Protocol must be adopted in Doha, progressing the only legally binding climate agreement in order to streamline the process. 

Keeping Kyoto alive is crucial for two reasons – first, it has key architectural elements that must be reflected in the 2015 Protocol. These include overall and national carbon budgets, economy-wide targets, common rules-based accounting, compliance and five year commitment periods. Second, it was part of the Durban package and its adoption will enable progress next year on both elements of the ADP -- its 2015 Protocol negotiations and near-term ambition. Pending its entry into force, it should be provisionally applied from1 January 2013.

But there are some things that should be left behind – the 13 gigatonnes of CO2eq ‘hot air’ from the first commitment period.  It does nothing for the climate and it’s high time to expel it from the system. The next COP President, Poland, must show leadership now and stop stalling efforts in the EU on this issue. 

The good elements of the Kyoto Protocol should not, however, remain the exclusive property of KP parties. We’re looking forward to our ‘ship jumpers’ in the LCA proving that they aren’t evading responsibility.  They can do so by agreeing the same accounting standards and setting carbon budgets here at Doha. 

#2 Face the issues head on

In 2015 the world must conclude a deal that matters for the climate. Parties will need to address two crucial questions: first, what do we need to do to avoid dangerous climate change; and second, how are we going to do that? 

In Doha, to help answer the first question, it is critical to agree on a review of the long-term temperature goal that focuses on exactly that, is narrow in scope, and takes placeunder a robust body. 

Given that equity and ambition are two sides of the same coin, we must also have a one year process exploring equity issues, reporting into the ADP at COP 19 and allowing the ADP to mainstream the progress.

Finally, confronting these issues head on means facing up to the impacts of climate change that are happening now.  Addressing loss and damage is essential to assure the most vulnerable countries that their future prospects are being fully protected. 

#3 Deliver the resources you promised

Vital work to adapt to climate change and transition to a low carbon economy cannot happen without resources.  So delivering on existing finance commitments and planning to meet additional needs must be at the heart of the Doha outcome. Committing to a minimum of $20 billion a year for the 2012-2015 period is the very minimum of the first stepsrequired.  

But in addition, ministers, you must also make sure there is a rigorous system to track the delivery of all money promised, ensuring that it is new and additional, and not quietly recycled from one vitally needed programme to pay for another.  

You must also commit to a political process with the weight to ensure that developed countries scale up climate finance to the promised level of $100 billion per year by 2020. We must not become bogged down in endless technical analysis -- there are already good options on the table. All that is needed to turn them into reality is political will.

Finance is not an add-on to our work on climate; it is what drives our work, and it’s what gives the victims of climate change at least a fighting chance in adapting to the impacts. Finance must be at the center of your attention in the new negotiations under the ADP.

#4 Be Ambitious!

Ministers, we expect you to increase your mitigation and finance ambition right here in Doha. The EU 20% has already been met, the Australian unconditional target of 99.5% is shamefully weak and the U.S. steers away from anything approaching something in the required scientific range.  

Meanwhile, ECO is still waiting to see even one finance figure for the post-2012 period. As a first step toward improving this woeful record, the EU should listen to the German Minister and increase its target to 30% here at COP 18.

The Doha outcome alone will not save the planet, so don't imagine your work is done when you get on the plane going home. The developed world will still need to increase its mitigation and finance ambition massively.  Because your work here will not nearly begin to fill the ambition gap in either area, you will also need to agree this week on both a high level and technical workplan to do so in 2013. 

We cannot afford to waste any more time. All countries need to capitalize on initiatives to raise ambition, whether inside or outside of the UNFCCC -- from reducing HFCs to phasing out fossil fuel subsides.  ECO is also waiting with bated breath for announcements from our Qatari hosts and Gulf neighbours on their contribution to the global effort.

Ministers: You are here to lay the foundations for a new Protocol.  You must therefore instruct your negotiators that they move in the middle of 2013 from conceptual brainstorming to concrete discussions, resulting in a ‘compilation text’  of proposals by COP19. Brainstorm and build -- that’s ECO’s motto!  The re-election of President Obama and the new leadership in China has created the potential for change.  Let’s capitalize on that in Doha and beyond. 

#5 Leave the laggards behind

The planet cannot wait for action. Some countries are clearly not serious about our common endeavor to address the threat of dangerous climate change. 

We cannot afford to wait for Russia, who won’t put a target on the table, but still wants any ‘goodies’ that might be around -- whether it means holding onto its ‘hot air’ or having access to revenues fromcarbon trading.  

We cannot allow the pace to be set by Canada, who failed to meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and then withdrew in order to avoid the consequences.  

And New Zealand will need to make a choice -- is it serious about climate protection, or does it wish to be singled out as an obstacle to progress? These countries risk becoming increasingly sidelined, as the global community works to forge consensus on a new logic under the ADP.

Ministers, we need you to finish the work begun here in Doha. You must close the loopholes, deliver the money, addressissues head on, and map out a clear course for the negotiations under the ADP. Then you need to go home and act! 

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Intervention on ADP Workstream 2 in the COP18 ADP Special Event, 1 December, 2012

Intervention in ADP Special Event on ADP Workstream 2, 2 December 2012

Delivered by Jan Kowalzig

Thank you chair. 
Workstream 2 should build on three broad pillars.
The first and most important pillar would address the inadequate level of ambition especially by developed countries that are undermining the survival of entire nations. Removing conditions around pledges or ranges is needed, but going beyond current pledges will be unavoidable to move developed countries into the 25-40% range and beyond. 2013 should see submissions form Parties an Observers and technical papers on existing potentials to increase pledges. This can prepare, but not replace, a high level ministerial process that must begin here in Doha at next week’s ministerial roundtable and should also include a ministerial level discussion in Bonn in 2013 and a leaders’ summit no later than 2014.
Another pillar, as suggested by Parties, should look at complementary activities outside the UNFCCC context, for instance action on HFCs (via the Montreal Protocol), or international bunker fuels and notably action to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
Concretely: Where a “home” for those options exists, such as the IMO, ICAO or the Montreal Protocol, there is no need to wait. Doha should request those bodies to urgently take up work.
2013 should see submissions from Parties and Observes on further complementary activities. Focus should be on those that are additional to existing pledges and not the vehicles to implement them, as in such a case the ambition gap doesn’t get any smaller. A technical paper on complimentary activities should analyse the overlap with, or additionality to, existing pledges.
Yet another pillar of the workstream 2 should look at what is needed to enable developing countries to submit pledges and NAMAs if they haven’t done so yet, especially for countries with economic capacity comparable to some (less wealthy) developed countries and growing responsibility. We see next week’s ministerial roundtable as a great opportunity for such new pledges or NAMAs. Beyond Doha, this second pillar will also require a process to identify the needs for means of implementation to prepare, and later implement, pledges or NAMAs.
On all three pillars, Doha should agree a clear timeline of work. Technical input should be sought, including the UNEP emissions gap report and its updates, as well as submissions by Parties and Observers.


Lost Points and Damaged Text

Reading the current text, ECO is concerned that a possible Doha decision may miss the key, overarching points. First, in light of the lack of mitigation ambition, there is cause for grave concern. The low mitigation ambition will determine the level of loss and damage in the future. Second, this results in a high urgency to take action on all fronts of mitigation and adaptation, with the primary objective to reduce loss and damage as much as possible. ECO expects that those who have contributed most to the problem take the responsibility for support. Third, the key reason that vulnerable developing country Parties have put loss and damage on the agenda is the dire situation that the limits of adaptation will likely be surpassed in many regions. 

Addressing the impacts where adaptation will no longer be possible is crucial for this discussion. Because of this, the Convention must provide leadership in developing a global strategic response to address loss and damage. Parts of the required actions can be pursued through the existing institutions, such as the Adaptation Committee, the Nairobi Work Programme or the Least Developed Countries Expert Group. These bodies can carry out important activities relevant to addressing loss and damage. But, do any of these institutions have the mandate or capacity to explore the broader implications of lack of ambition in mitigation and the associated loss and damage?  Can they deal with situations such as permanent loss of land and livelihoods? Or, decide how to ensure that relevant policy processes work together? ECO does not think so.
Therefore it supports almost 100 developing countries’ call for an international mechanism to address loss and damage, which can be operated by making use of the work of the existing bodies. ECO expects that when the ministers are here, they would want to leave Doha with tangible results that show the world that these most vulnerable peoples and countries are not left alone. Stepping up the negotiating process in this area must be an element of the Doha package.
Related Newsletter : 

CAN Briefing: For Developing Country NAMA workshop, September 2012


Although this paper concerns developing country NAMAs, CAN stresses, at the outset, the need for developed 
countries to do much more in terms of mitigation and support obligations.
CAN recognizes that developing countries are already taking actions as evidenced by the inputs in previous 
workshops.  How these actions can be enhanced through international support needs to be addressed.  At the sametime, we need to look at ways in which we can address global environmental integrity through internationalizing these efforts and setting common rules for establishing baselines, dealing with underlying assumptions, and accountability, amongst others.

CAN's Priorities for Bangkok Discussions

The Climate Action Network (CAN) - a global network of over 700 NGOs from more than 90 countries working to promote action to limit climate change to ecologically sustainable levels - is attending the UNFCCC Intersessional Meeting being held in Bangkok from 30 August to 5 September 2012.

CAN believes the following three priority areas need to be discussed in Bangkok:

-       Set expectations for concrete outcomes at COP18 in Doha, especially in terms of agreeing a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol

-       Establishing a workplan with key milestones for the Durban Platform negotiation track, especially in relation to increasing level of short-term mitigation ambition

-       Identify elements that need to be finalized or moved under the long-term cooperation action (LCA) track so that it would close in Doha

Media are advised that non-governmental organisations who are members of CAN are available for interviews and on and off the record briefings, backgrounds and updates on the following climate change issues discussed in the negotiations:

Shared vision and overall political picture
Mitigation and low-carbon development
Equitable effort sharing
Adaptation to the impacts of climate change
Financial support
Technological support
Legal structure
REDD and forests
Aviation and Maritime fuels
Public participation

The CAN team in Bangkok also includes experts from the following regions:

Arab region, Australia, Canada, Central Asia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Latin America, South Africa, South East Asia, United States, West and East Africa.

To be put in touch with the relevant person, please contact CAN Director:

Wael Hmaidan
local phone: +66 (0) 8 9210 4796
email: whmaidan@climatenetwork.org
website: www.climatenetwork.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CANInternational?ref=hl

CAN Collectibles: European Union

**Errata: Yesterday's collectible indicated there was a "secret message" embedded in the series. That should have read "notsosecret message". The message is that countries should increase their ambition for Qatar. ECO regrets this confusion, but hopes that this was especially clear to Parties who reread the entire series, searching for the hidden message.**


European Union


National term of endearment/greeting

Ciao/ahoj/hej/Hi/kalimera/Bonjour/Guten tag/ hej pa dig/Hola/ Hallooooooo/Varying number of kisses, except in the UK

Annual alcohol consumption

11 litres per person per year

Annual cheese consumption

19 kg per person per year (more in France)

Best things about EU

Excellent alcoholic beverages and cheese (see above). Eurovision song contest Climate and Energy package – inadequate level of effort and no legally-binding energy efficiency target, but still a noted first effort

Worst things about EU

World’s lowest carbon price. Milk found on same aisle as toilet paper in supermarket. Middle aged men in skimpy bathing suits. Polish climate ambition. Eurovision song contest

Things you didn’t know

Outlook for the EU is a continent-wide outdoor museum for a population of pensioners. The 10 most generous countries in the world when it comes to charitable giving.

Existing Unconditional pledge on the table

20% below 1990 levels by 2020

Existing Conditional pledge (upper end)

30% below 1990 levels by 2020

Next step to increase ambition by COP18

40% below 1990 levels by 2020 (of which 30% domestic) Agree to a strong Energy Efficiency Directive: Member States have watered down existing provisions to around 38% of the initial proposal


Emission reductions in the EU in 2009 were already 17.3% below the 1990, so the 20% target for 2020 is practically met. And as if this wasn't easy enough, simply by implementing the EU’s existing renewable energy and energy efficiency targets would result in domestic emission reductions of 25% in 2020 as has been acknowledged by the European Commission in the 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap published in March 2011.




Subscribe to Tag: Mitigation